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Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator Review: Disadvantages and Risks of the Surgery Impact

Dr. Deuk
An expert in all things spine, Dr. Deukmedjain is a board certified neurosurgeon who has performed thousands of minimally invasive surgeries and procedures including the revolutionary Deuk Laser Disc Repair and the Deuk Spinal Fusion. 

Abbott, a global leader in the development of chronic pain therapy solutions, offers a variety of chronic pain relief devices, including spinal cord stimulation therapy, BurstDR stimulation, and dorsal root ganglion stimulation. 

Although pain management doctors generally recommend the Abbott spinal cord stimulator for back and neck pain, there are numerous risks associated with the surgical procedure.

This article, therefore, details everything you need to know about Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator including the disadvantages and risks of the surgery and whether or not it works in curing chronic back and neck pain.

What is Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator?



Abbott's Spinal Cord Stimulator is a low-dose and low-energy pain management device designed to provide pain relief and improve system longevity. It relieves back pain by sending low-level electrical currents directly into the spinal cord. The FDA approved the company's Proclaim XR recharge-free neurostimulation system for people living with chronic pain. 

What is special about this innovative discovery is that it is possible to alter the device to save energy and battery life while maintaining pain alleviation. With this spinal cord stimulation system, you can have hassle-free pain treatment, which features a battery that lasts up to 10 years at low-dose settings and never needs to be charged.

What exactly does an Abbott spinal cord stimulator do?

The Abbott spinal cord stimulator is a new device found to be more effective than traditional therapy at relieving chronic pain. It’s used when other traditional treatment plans for chronic pain–such as physical therapy, psychological interventions, nerve blocks, and surgery–haven’t worked. 



Abbott's spinal cord stimulation is most typically used to relieve pain in the legs, back, and arms that have not responded to surgery. It can also alleviate back pain in cases where spinal surgery is not an option. Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), pain after nerve damage, refractory pain, post-herpetic neuralgia, and peripheral vascular disease are all illnesses that may respond to Abbott's spinal cord stimulation.

This advanced neurostimulator system is specifically designed to enhance patient outcomes by using the lowest effective dose of stimulation to provide pain relief and increase system longevity, giving patients a life-changing pain treatment choice without the hassles of recharging. Thanks to a battery that lasts up to ten years at low-dose settings, you can enjoy pain treatment without charging the system. Abbott also incorporates Bluetooth wireless technology and familiar Apple mobile digital devices to help patients control pain quietly and seamlessly.

How do Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulators work?

Abbott's low-energy spinal cord stimulation is a non-opioid solution offering an innovative approach to chronic pain management. The device works by changing pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain and with low dosages of mild electrical pulses. 

This stimulation therapy entails surgically implanting a stimulator that targets the spinal cord to relieve pain in the lower limbs caused by complex regional pain syndrome. Individuals are given a hand-held iPod controller to modify the stimulation settings within certain prescribed limits.

The device was created in response to positive results from Abbott's patients (BOLD) study, which discovered that 24 enrolled patients on a low-energy program experienced pain relief with less than six hours of battery use per day. Approximately half of those patients achieve pain relief with the lowest effective dose (less than two hours of battery use per day).

It has made a significant difference in treating chronic pain. The result: the Abbott spinal cord stimulation (SCS) helps extend the system's battery life, allowing users to get pain relief for up to 10 years without worrying about recharging.

What is the success rate of Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulators?



The long-term success rate of spinal cord stimulators (SCS) is currently between 47% and 74%. The duration between the onset of chronic pain syndrome and spinal cord stimulation implantation is inversely related to its effectiveness. Therefore, implantation should be done as soon as possible to improve outcomes. 

Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator Side Effects

Despite the decent success rate, the Abbott spinal cord stimulator can cause various side effects, such as:

  • Weakness or tingling in the legs.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leakage 
  • Epidural hemorrhage, infection, spinal cord compression, or paralysis 
  • Swelling and Bruising
  • Bleeding under the skin near the implanted area of the spinal cord stimulator.

This device can be contraindicated for patients who are:

  • Unable to operate the system
  • Poor surgical risks
  • Pregnant
  • Under the age of 18

Therefore, it is critical to discuss any risks associated with the implant surgery and device with your doctor.

Disadvantages and Risks of Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulators?

Some risks specific to Abbott's spinal cord stimulator may include:

  • Poor system connection
  • Electromagnetic interference such as a defibrillator or MRI can damage the device, leading to severe burns, another serious injury, or death.
  • Risk of infection and bleeding
  • Spinal fluid leaks resulting in headaches.
  • The generator battery may not function properly or may leak.

Alternatives to the Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator

Luckily, there is an alternative solution to the spinal cord stimulator for chronic pain: Deuk Laser Disc Repair. 

Deuk Spine Laser Disc Repair

Deuk Spine Institute is the world leader in minimally invasive Laser Spine Surgery. Dr. Ara Deukmedjian, founder of Deuk Spine Institute, developed the world's most advanced laser spine surgery. This laser spine surgery is known as Deuk Laser Disc Repair.  

Deuk Laser Disc Repair is used as an alternative to dangerous invasive surgeries like total disc replacement and spinal fusion. Deuk Laser Disc Repair is a form of endoscopic spine surgery performed in a state-of-the-art outpatient surgery center under sedation while the patient relaxes. 

This procedure does not compromise or weaken the health and integrity of the spine.

In over 15 years of performing this procedure and with over 1,300 patients treated, there has been a 95% success rate with no complications in any patient.

How Deuk Laser Disk Repair Works

To get started, Deuk Laser Disc Repair requires a very small incision, less than a quarter-inch long. A cylindrical rod called a dilator is inserted in the small opening to gently spread the muscle to create a small passage and guide through which the surgery is performed endoscopically. 

The tip of the dilator is advanced into the symptomatic disc through the tear in the annulus where the herniation originates, and a tube called the retractor slides over the dilator and is carefully positioned into the painful disc. The rest of the entire Deuk laser disc repair surgery will occur inside this narrow tube.

To access the spine, an endoscopic camera is inserted into the tubular retractor to allow the surgeon to guide the laser inside each symptomatic disc. This process ensures that bones and surrounding tissues are not damaged, unlike traditional spinal fusions, microdiscectomy, and artificial discs.

The Holmium YAG laser used in the Deuk laser disc repair is manipulated accurately with millimeter precision under endoscopic visualization to remove only painful inflammatory tissue from the disc. The laser is precisely used to remove damaged disc material that is causing the pain. 

The entire process takes about an hour and leaves less than one-quarter inch incision in the skin, which can be closed with a single stitch and a band-aid. After the surgery, the Deuk laser disc repair patient is back home, enjoying life with a speedy recovery allowing normal activities without pain. 

Another advantage of Deuk laser disc repair is that no opioids or powerful narcotic painkillers are needed after surgery. If you’re suffering from chronic back and neck pain, submit your MRI for a free review with our team.

Living with Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator

For most people with chronic pain, living with the pain is the biggest challenge they have ever faced. It can alter your daily habits, relationships, and career. Knowing how to alleviate some of your concerns and what to expect following therapy and surgery will assist you in making essential lifestyle changes.

The following are, therefore, general Precautions to follow: 

  • Professional Clinician: As a patient, choose a physician who has had surgical and device implantation training and is experienced in diagnosing and treating chronic pain syndromes. 
  • As a patient, you should not be completely reliant on drugs. You should also be able to operate the neurostimulation system.
  • Infection: Make sure you're following proper infection control protocols. Infections associated with system implantation may necessitate the device's removal.
  • Implantation of multiple leads: If more than one lead is implanted, the leads and extensions should be routed close together. Nonadjacent leads may act as a conduit for stray electromagnetic energy, causing undesired stimulation in the patient.
  • Electromagnetic interference (EMI): Some equipment in the home, work, medical, and public environments can generate EMI that is strong enough to interfere with the operation of the neurostimulation device. Patients should avoid getting too close to EMI sources such as microwave transmitters, high-voltage power lines, and induction furnaces.

Does Abbott Spinal Cord Stimulator Cure Chronic Pain?

Abbott Spinal cord stimulators are ineffective in curing chronic back and neck pain; instead, they have been linked to complications such as spinal fluid leaks, headaches, and other complications. 

While it is recommended by pain management doctors, it may cause complications after several years of use. Mechanical failures, infections, and a general lack of efficacy can all contribute to this, necessitating additional procedures to maintain or reposition the device.

If you’re suffering from chronic back and neck pain, you should consider Deuk Laser Disc Repair. Deuk Laser Disc Repair is the most advanced laser spine surgery in the world, and it is only offered at Deuk Spine Institute. Deuk Spine Institute offers unique insight into the complexities of spinal health and nerves such as bulging discs, sciatica, spinal stenosis, herniated discs, and other conditions that cause severe chronic pain.

Contact us at Deuk Spine Institute today. We also offer free consultation on your MRI scan. Visit our site here to start your treatment. Submit your MRI for a free review with our team.

Cure your back and neck pain once and for all.

Deuk Laser Disc Repair has patients back on their feet within an hour, feeling zero pain
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About Deuk Spine Institute
World leader in Laser Spine Surgery
With world-class physicians on staff, the newest and most advanced technology, and a patient experience pathway that is unrivaled in it’s efficiency and and pedagogy of care, Deuk Spine Institute has performed thousands of procedures and achieves a 95% success rate in elimination of pain.

 The services we offer are not offered anywhere else in the world, and the treatments are curative, not palliative.  On top of that, Dr. Deukmedjian is personally invested in the well-being of each and every patient, and has spared no expense to guarantee the best possible outcomes.
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